80% of K-12 schools have insufficient Internet access
Over 40 million students in America’s K-12 schools are being left behind. Digital learning requires big pipes and robust networks, yet 80% of our schools don’t have an adequate Internet infrastructure for current needs, let alone the future. The typical K-12 public school has the same Internet access as the typical home – with 100x more users.
We call this lack of available bandwidth in the classroom The Connectivity Gap.
Inadequate connectivity and network bottlenecks limit the data coming into the classroom, preventing students and educators from accessing content and applications reliably. This can be a result of slow Internet connections, old wired and wireless network hardware, limited networking expertise, or misconfigured devices.
This myriad of problems mean that Internet access is rationed to our students and teachers, and the K-12 schools most in need must limit which tools they use instead of taking advantage of the full potential of digital learning.
What kind of Internet infrastructure do America's K-12 schools need?
America’s K-12 schools need 100 Mbps+ (per 1,000 students) of Internet connectivity today and 1 Gbps+ by 2017. This recommendation from the State Educational Technology Directors Association and EducationSuperHighway is based on the bandwidth needs for current digital learning tools (e.g. streaming video and content).
In order to deliver this content, schools also need robust wired and wireless networks using the most up-to-date standards to ensure that students and teachers can access digital learning resources from anywhere in their school.
The Four Gaps: Roadblocks to an Upgrade
Four main gaps prevent struggling K-12 schools from effectively upgrading to 100 Mbps+.
We know that 80% of public schools lack sufficient Internet access, but we do not know where these schools are or who is being affected.
90% of school districts do not have the dedicated networking staff that are needed to design, implement, and manage their Internet infrastructure.
Schools are overpaying for Internet connectivity and equipment - despite collectively being the largest purchasers of Internet infrastructure in the country.
The $2.5 billion E-Rate program is not having maximum impact in implementing 100 Mbps+ infrastructure in schools.